Not her home

The Herald reports:

Social housing tenant Wendy Ross feels “like a criminal”.

“I haven’t done anything wrong … I’ve worked, I’ve paid my taxes, I’ve raised my family, so why are they trying to make me leave my home?”

Last year we brought you the story of Ms Ross who, having lived in her three-bedroom Whanganui state house for more than 30 years and raised her family there, had been told she would have to move out.

She has now been given a date for her marching orders – July 18 – though that has only strengthened her resolve to remain in the house she considers her home. Ms Ross, who works for the minimum wage as a carer and lives alone, has been told by the Ministry of Social Development that she is no longer eligible for a state house.

The ministry told the Chronicle that social housing reforms introduced in 2014 were intended to ensure that “people living in social housing still need it”.

With respect it isn’t her house. It is a house owned by the Government which she got to use for 30 years at a greatly subsidised rental. Now her kids are grown up, there are other families who need a subsidised three bedroom house more than she does.

We’ve heard a lot about some families being homeless. Well the answer is to prioritise social housing to those most in need, which is not the same as those who have been in one the longest.

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